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Take care of your pets when they're aching | How to identify different types of pain

Pets can experience trauma, urinary tract, pain, cancers, etc. to name a few

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Pets can't talk to us, as much as we think they can. 

So when something happens to fido, or your feline friends, you turn to the vet! 

September is pain awareness month for pets and people. 

Doctor Kelley Gebhardt answers your questions about signs and symptoms to look out for with your furry friends.

Pain comes in many forms including: trauma, gastrointestinal pain, urinary tract pain, surgical pain, arthritis, and cancer or other chronic disease related pain, to name a few.

Signs of acute pain can be obvious, including:

  • suddenly limping or not walking on a leg
  • yelping
  • trying to bite
  • your pet not allowing you to touch or hold them
  • not wanting to or being unwilling to jump onto furniture or go up/down stairs

Signs of chronic pain can be very subtle, including:

  • not being as active
  • moving slowly
  • slow to get up/down
  • licking excessively at one area
  • shivering/shaking
  • decreased appetite
  • change in attitude or behavior, being more clingy or reclusive
  • Remember: age is not a disease, but pain is

Steps to identifying pain:

  • Physical exam
  • Initial imaging: Radiographs (x-rays) and/or ultrasound
  • Blood work
  • Urinalysis

Options for treating pain:

  • Pharmaceutical pain relief medications (opioids based, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory)
  • Non-pharmaceutical supplements (fish oil, turmeric, joint support, etc.)
  • Laser therapy (we have class IV therapeutic K-laser at HTVEC)
  • Acupuncture
  • PEMF therapy equipment (Assisi Loop)
  • Therapeutic massage
  • Physical rehabilitation